The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the number of calories your body burns at rest. According to a review in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, your BMR consumes around 60–75% of your total daily calorie burn.

FYI: A kg of muscle burns anywhere from 7–13 calories over a 24-hour period, whereas the same amount of fat only burns between 2–5 calories over the same amount of time.

So, if you can maintain or add muscle, you’ll increase the number of calories your body burns at rest, which can help you shed more fat. Also you can burn more calories after a strength-training session than after a run or bike ride because cardio doesn’t cause the same stress on the muscle as doing a heavy lift, and that stress causes more turnover in the muscle that then causes greater need for repair. This repair process uses more energy in the form of calories than a typical cardio session does. As a result, you will burn calories long after the training session has ended.

So if your goal is to burn some fat in readiness for spring, your best bet will be to perform a combination of cardio and strength training. Research has shown overweight and obese adults who followed a 12-week cardio and resistance-training program lost more weight than those who only did cardio.